MacBook vs. MacBook Pro: Light work

MrNomNoms

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Jan 25, 2011
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Wellington, New Zealand
So I'm running back to the Mac platform but I'm wondering whether I'm better off purchasing a MacBook rather than a MacBook Pro given that I'll be using my desktop (aka iMac) for heavy lifting. The main thing I'll be using the MacBook for will be surfing the net (Wordpress, FaceBook etc), some Office 2016 on occasion and running light applications like MarsEdit etc. I'm looking at getting the following:
  • 512GB PCIe-based onboard flash storage
  • 1.2GHz dual-core
    Intel Core m5 processor
    Turbo Boost up to 2.7GHz
  • 8GB memory
  • Intel HD Graphics 515
On paper that appears to be more than enough to be able to accomplish what I want to do but I'd love to hear what other peoples experiences are.
 

maflynn

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Staff member
May 3, 2009
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Given your stated useage, either model will fit your needs. I guess it boils down to which model do you prefer and your budget. The MacBook will run you 1,600 where as the MacBook Pro will run you 1,800.

I'd hold off making a final decision as people are expecting a refresh of the MBP during WWDC
 

theatremusician

macrumors member
Dec 17, 2013
91
132
Look at the Apple refurbished store. More bang for the buck. Even the last gen MacBook will easily cover your needs.
 

MrNomNoms

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Original poster
Jan 25, 2011
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Wellington, New Zealand
Given your stated useage, either model will fit your needs. I guess it boils down to which model do you prefer and your budget. The MacBook will run you 1,600 where as the MacBook Pro will run you 1,800.

I'd hold off making a final decision as people are expecting a refresh of the MBP during WWDC
I've had a look at the various reviews and I've decided to go for the MacBook - up it to the m7 1.3GHz and all the feedback seems to pretty much puts it in the ball park of what I wish to accomplish using it. I'll go with that and probably hold out for an iMac refresh with hopefully a Polaris GPU.
 

maflynn

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Staff member
May 3, 2009
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hopefully a Polaris GPU.
I'd be surprised to see that end up in the iMac. Apple rarely uses high end GPUs in their Macs. It will be a nice move on their part, don't get me wrong, but I'm not sure its something they'll be doing
 

Samuelsan2001

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Oct 24, 2013
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I'd be surprised to see that end up in the iMac. Apple rarely uses high end GPUs in their Macs. It will be a nice move on their part, don't get me wrong, but I'm not sure its something they'll be doing
Polaris is not high end GPU's it's just the architecture that will be used for a lot of AMD's GPU's this year it should double the performance per watt so I'm pretty sure Apple will use them in the iMacs and the 15 inch rMBP.
 

JoeRito

macrumors 6502a
Apr 12, 2012
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New England, USA
I've had a look at the various reviews and I've decided to go for the MacBook - up it to the m7 1.3GHz and all the feedback seems to pretty much puts it in the ball park of what I wish to accomplish using it. I'll go with that and probably hold out for an iMac refresh with hopefully a Polaris GPU.
You could get a brand new MBP for 799.99 13 inch. is essentially a brand new 2012 model but will still work amazingly! No retina, but has dvd drive.
 
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MrNomNoms

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Jan 25, 2011
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I'd be surprised to see that end up in the iMac. Apple rarely uses high end GPUs in their Macs. It will be a nice move on their part, don't get me wrong, but I'm not sure its something they'll be doing
Polaris is not high end GPU's it's just the architecture that will be used for a lot of AMD's GPU's this year it should double the performance per watt so I'm pretty sure Apple will use them in the iMacs and the 15 inch rMBP.
Agreed - the die shrink will make AMD GPU's a lot more competitive when it comes to performance-per-watt which would be a great benefit to not only the MacBook Pro but also the iMac especially in the R9 M400(X) series when it comes to powering a 5K screen and OpenCL performance along with improved Metal performance (maybe Vulkan at a later date (I guess I can dream)).
 
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ggibson913

macrumors 6502a
Sep 11, 2006
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So I'm running back to the Mac platform but I'm wondering whether I'm better off purchasing a MacBook rather than a MacBook Pro given that I'll be using my desktop (aka iMac) for heavy lifting. The main thing I'll be using the MacBook for will be surfing the net (Wordpress, FaceBook etc), some Office 2016 on occasion and running light applications like MarsEdit etc. I'm looking at getting the following:
  • 512GB PCIe-based onboard flash storage
  • 1.2GHz dual-core
    Intel Core m5 processor
    Turbo Boost up to 2.7GHz
  • 8GB memory
  • Intel HD Graphics 515
On paper that appears to be more than enough to be able to accomplish what I want to do but I'd love to hear what other peoples experiences are.
Given your use case I am curious as to why you would need to go with the 512 GB SSD?
 

MrNomNoms

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Jan 25, 2011
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Wellington, New Zealand
One more question though, M7-6Y75 vs M5-6Y57, would I notice the difference? I'm not going to be doing any major heavy lifting but rather just general day to day stuff like posting to my blog. I'm looking at the m7 but I'm wondering whether it is an over kill for what I'm going to use it for and that the m7 is only really useful in a handful of scenarios. I'd love to hear feedback as I am tempted to cancel my order from the Apple store and just go in and pick up a MacBook m5 which is available in store straight away for pick up.
 

iceman42

macrumors regular
Nov 12, 2012
173
26
So I'm running back to the Mac platform but I'm wondering whether I'm better off purchasing a MacBook rather than a MacBook Pro given that I'll be using my desktop (aka iMac) for heavy lifting. The main thing I'll be using the MacBook for will be surfing the net (Wordpress, FaceBook etc), some Office 2016 on occasion and running light applications like MarsEdit etc. I'm looking at getting the following:
  • 512GB PCIe-based onboard flash storage
  • 1.2GHz dual-core
    Intel Core m5 processor
    Turbo Boost up to 2.7GHz
  • 8GB memory
  • Intel HD Graphics 515
On paper that appears to be more than enough to be able to accomplish what I want to do but I'd love to hear what other peoples experiences are.
i would just buy the low end macbook pro retina 13 inch
So I'm running back to the Mac platform but I'm wondering whether I'm better off purchasing a MacBook rather than a MacBook Pro given that I'll be using my desktop (aka iMac) for heavy lifting. The main thing I'll be using the MacBook for will be surfing the net (Wordpress, FaceBook etc), some Office 2016 on occasion and running light applications like MarsEdit etc. I'm looking at getting the following:
  • 512GB PCIe-based onboard flash storage
  • 1.2GHz dual-core
    Intel Core m5 processor
    Turbo Boost up to 2.7GHz
  • 8GB memory
  • Intel HD Graphics 515
On paper that appears to be more than enough to be able to accomplish what I want to do but I'd love to hear what other peoples experiences are.
i would but the low end macbook pro retina 13 inch it will cost less and have better specs and more ports.if you need the adaptor its another $80 dollars
 

theluggage

macrumors 601
Jul 29, 2011
4,735
3,583
I'm wondering whether I'm better off purchasing a MacBook rather than a MacBook Pro
So, if you want 512GB I think that puts the 13" rMBP at about $200 more than the MacBook. That's a lot of money for some people, small change for others, but since you're asking the question, I'll assume that the money is not an end of argument issue for you. Plus, some sort of USB-C hub or adapter sis going to be an almost mandatory purchase for the single-ported MB, and they're not overly cheap.

The rMBP gets you a lot of extra power and connectivity for the money. More power and connectivity than you need for your uses but, hey, future proofing - you'll drop an awful lot more than $200 if you outgrow the MB and have to trade up.

OTOH, as you say, you plan to use your desktop for any heavy work.

So, what it comes down to is how much do you need the extreme portability of the MacBook? If you're carrying around all day, the size and weight of the MB would clinch the deal. If you're just ferrying it between desk and car twice a day then you're not going to notice the extra weight of the rMBP (which is still pretty thin and light).

Also - I'd wait a few weeks to see what (if anything) is announced at WWDC. There's no guarantee that anything will be announced but a new rMBP range is long overdue & if so... well... Apple aren't gonna make it thicker and heavier, are they?
 
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Algus

macrumors regular
Jun 8, 2014
222
84
Arizona
Generally I don't think Apple's CPU upsells are that good. You might make an argument for jumping from a quad-core i5 to a quad-core i7 on the iMac but with the dual core and Core M CPUs, you really are just getting marginally faster performance that in real world usage will only shave a few seconds here and there off calculations. Basically, if you're doing anything where you need to worry about how fast your CPU is performing calculations the rMB is the wrong device for you. For basic office work and media consumption, you definitely don't need to worry about your CPU. This is why offices get away with not upgrading their computer equipment for ten years. Even stuff from the Vista era is going to be able to handle music and office work just fine with modern software.
 

762999

Cancelled
Nov 9, 2012
891
509
I've had a look at the various reviews and I've decided to go for the MacBook - up it to the m7 1.3GHz and all the feedback seems to pretty much puts it in the ball park of what I wish to accomplish using it. I'll go with that and probably hold out for an iMac refresh with hopefully a Polaris GPU.
make sure you test the keyboard first.. I was at the Apple store yesterday and I didn't like the feeling when I was typing on it..
 

jjhoekstra

macrumors regular
Apr 23, 2009
198
17
I have both a MB and a MBP, and I find that I use the MB way more than the MBP. It is just much easier to pick up the MB than the pro. Obviously the pro is faster, but in daily use I do not notice it. Only if you measure, the difference in speed is visible.
As already said, check the keyboard as it is different (but I have gotten used to it within a week or so) and you are wise to go for the 512 ssd. I have 256 Gigs. Had I known how much I would be using my MB, I would have gone with the 512 Gigs.
 

grahamperrin

macrumors 601
Jun 8, 2007
4,942
643
You could get a brand new MBP for 799.99 13 inch. is essentially a brand new 2012 model but will still work amazingly! No retina, but has dvd drive.
Yep, a few months ago I gave thought to a new 2012 model because a 2015 model would not run Mavericks (I tried, failed to install the OS.). More recently I read a report of someone running Mavericks on a 2015 model so I should review the situation.
 

ZVH

macrumors 6502
Apr 14, 2012
381
51
Yep, a few months ago I gave thought to a new 2012 model because a 2015 model would not run Mavericks (I tried, failed to install the OS.). More recently I read a report of someone running Mavericks on a 2015 model so I should review the situation.
Try this trick:

  • Find an older system with Mavericks on it that works properly with Mavericks
  • Either clone its volume to another external drive or put it into target mode and use it as a boot drive
  • See if it works, if it does, clone the volume to a partition on the newer system
I don't know if you've tried that or not, but I've done it on a few older systems and sometimes it works, with the keyword being "sometimes."

I had an older Titanium with a 667 MHz processor and did that with Leopard and it worked until the system finally died. It also worked a few years ago when I had a bootable partition on an external drive left over from a previous system and it worked with a Mac Mini, which supposedly couldn't boot or use Tiger, but it did. In other cases it didn't work at all.

It might be worth a try, but no guarantees.

Regarding the MacBook vs. MacBook Pro, if it was me I'd go with the Pro. If your main system ever goes down you can attach a large monitor to the MP and use it like a main system. Supposedly it can be done with a MacBook, but only with a kludge of adapters all plugged into the USB C port at the same time. An opinion, of course.
 
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SvenSvenson

macrumors regular
Jul 17, 2007
197
143
If you have somethings powerful for heavy use and just need a portable for light duties, get the MacBook. The mid-spec model (512Mb/1.2Ghz) would probably be enough. You may even find the base model OK - get a $30 128Gb USB drive for your music.

Don't buy any adopters until you know what you need, and look at the non-Apple alternatives such as the micro USB-C to USB adapters that are available, some with an extra USB-C charging port.

I have a MacBook for travel and a 17" quad i7 MBP for home use, which works well.
 
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